The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 22, 2012

Bob Garrett column: The 12 hikes of Christmas

The English Christmas carol, Twelve Days of Christmas, might just serve as your inspiration to get the whole family out for some hikes — 12 to be exact — during the upcoming Christmas break.

Just think of it, the kids will go back to school next year full of great stories about the wonderful strolls that they took with you in the woods. We grown-ups will be able to tell tales to our coworkers about great vistas or even real-life partridges, which would be quail in our neck of the woods.

Here, in no particular order, are 12 day hikes that I’m suggesting for you, your family and your friends to consider between now and Jan. 6, which is the 12th day of Christmas.

1. Partridge in a pear tree

The Dale’s Ridge Trail that follows Buffalo Creek just off of Strawbridge Road west of Lewisburg might be a good first hike. My friends and I have scared a covey of quail several times while hiking on this trail. This loop trail follows Buffalo Creek where you can observe all the activity on this stream and on a small pond. You will likely see water birds moving about and trout and other fish rising in the stream.

Soon this hike will have you climbing along impressive switchbacks and you will find yourself in a beautiful forest. Before long, the trail goes along a meadow. This is where you just might see that partridge in a fruit tree. The loop leads back to the switchbacks and returns along the stream. There is a trailhead kiosk that contains information about the trail and you may want to pick up a brochure shows many points of interest along the trail.

On this hike, you and your family will enjoy scenic ridge-top views of the Buffalo Valley, birding within a variety of habitats, mature forests, and open fields all on this moderate two-mile trail.

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